Infinity #1 – Pieces Falling Into Place

infinity_1_variantdjdurdjevic_0I’m going to say it right up front, like a lot of you I have a pretty love-hate relationship with so-called “event books”.  And let’s be honest, as much as I love Marvel comics right now and the direction most of the series have taken under the NOW initiative, Marvel is…shall we say fond of the event book format.  I think its safe to say that the average reader is suffering from bouts of event fatigue.  But, what does that really even mean?  We all complain about events at one time or another.  You’ve done it, I’ve done it.  But at the end of the day we still buy the issues, don’t we?  Event books can be amazing.  Look no further than House of M, the Sinestro Corps War, or Infinite Crisis for examples of event books done right.  Even Avengers v. X-men had some exceptionally good bits, it just wasn’t consistent.  And that, in a round-a-bout sort of way, is actually a pretty good segue into why I was, and am, looking forward to Infinity.  Specifically, Jonathan Hickman at the helm.

I’ve thought that Hickman would an excellent choice for an event book for 3 reasons: 1) He’s a meticulous plotter, planning even the most minute details of a story from the very beginning; 2) He has a style that lends itself well to epic storylines; 3) His issues in AvX were the best of the series.  So, this obviously begs the question…how was Infinity #1?  Well, I would say it’s about as good as can be expected.  There are a lot of moving parts and a large, diverse cast.  Thankfully, with a hefty 64 page count there is space for everyone to breathe.

What sets infinity apart from your average event book is that, contrary to the usual formula, its not particularly friendly to new readers or those who haven’t been following at least Avengers and New Avengers.  Thankfully, if you’ve followed both, Inifinity #1 is a natural and intriguingly plotted continuation of threads started from issue #1 of the Avengers under the Marvel NOW banner.

Infinity #1 is very much a setup issue, but thankfully does not suffer for the fact.  Hickman begins moving a lot of seemingly disparate parts from his Avengers titles into place and setting up the board.  There a number of plot threads that move closer to fruition.  We finally get a glimpse of the Builders first referenced in Avengers #1 and the devastating scale of their power.  The larger effects of the incursion events in the New Avengers title become a little more apparent.  And as advertised Thanos makes himself and his intentions known building off of themes carried in both the Avengers and Guardians of Galaxy.  Perhaps, most interestingly (or perhaps sadly depending on your perspective) Infinity #1 adds a relevance and stake to Age of Ultron that that series sorely lacked during its 10 issue run.

In short, there are a lot of moving parts and a lot of characters to keep track of, but if you’re willing to put in the effort and follow Hickman down the rabbit hole he’s conjuring then the first issue is a definite success.  Jonathan Hickman is a writer well known for the intricacies and complexities of his stories and Infinity at this stage is falling right in line.

8.5/10

About

Keith is a life long gamer, movie buff, occasional harmonica player, and, most importantly, a comics nerd. Like all the best nerds, Keith is a child of the 80's and 90's and an often loud and vocal advocate of the cartoons of that era (seriously, though, they are unquestionably the best cartoons EVER). He currently resides in New York City with his lovely, if often exasperated wife, Rachel and their two cats, Ollie and Juno.

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